JMA Rockets Academy appoints new Head Coach




Alan Keane named as Head Coach of the Rockets Academy at JMA in Reading.

After his initial year working with the club and Head Coach Manuel Pena Garces the time was right for Coach Keane to take over from Pedro Rosado at the Club’s EABL Academy in Reading as Rosado seeks to develop his career overseas.

Academy Director Matt Johnson said: “It is an exciting time for our sport and our club. 3 Years ago Pedro started to develop the role of expanding the programme at JMA by building a 6th form High Performance programme for young Men and Women from across UK and Europe.

Within those 3 years we have moved up in the EABL rankings, developed a programme that is now producing high level student athletes, and is well linked across Europe and the USA.

The work done over these 3 years within the school has laid a very good foundation for us to now take the next step on the performance ladder and Coach Keane will certainly do a very good job in helping the Academy grow up even more. “

Johnson continues “Working with Alan is always a challenge, and something I have always personally embraced. He is a critical thinker, is dedicated to his craft as a High Performance Coach and is always ready to listen to new methodology and ideas. Alan’s academic background and current PhD study is a reflection of the way he constantly wants to improve himself and others around him and I am excited to see the way we can develop our programme to become the very best environment for learning it can be.”

 Coach Keane has always embraced the role as National Team Head Coach.

Coach Keane said about the new opportunity:

“Taking on any new role in basketball is always exciting. However working with JMA Academy raises my level of enthusiasm even higher. I have always felt that Coaching in the EABL must be very rewarding when you consider the structure of the league and the calibre of athletes and Coaches involved.

I am already aware of the professionalism and Elite provisions in place at JMA Basketball Academy and Reading Rockets having coached with the Rockets this past season. I know how forward thinking the club and school are and that excites me most when I consider what I can bring to the programme.”

Chairman Gary Johnson added: “We are incredibly pleased with Pedro and the work he has done here. We wish him all the best in his next steps as a young and impressive Coach. Alan will be a fantastic addition to the programme in many areas and we look forward to starting the journey together.”

JMA Basketball Senior Night Celebration Event




After hundreds of hours of studying and training over the last 2 years it was an emotional night last night where we had to say our goodbyes to our 6th form Senior graduates.

For some of the student athletes this journey had started with us 6 years ago and last night was the culmination of all the years of hard work and perseverance.

For Jay Carter, Terrence Chatikobo and Ryan Goosey the last 6 years have flown by and for each of them the challenge of University life awaits! Jay in Canada, Ryan in Liverpool and Terrence still choosing the right place

For Maria Garcia, Fidel Lopez, Ibu Jassey Demba and Chiara Di Steffano this journey has also involved moving Country as well as school! Over what seemingly has been a very short time so many things have happened and so many memories have been made and so many lessons learned.

For Fidel a journey back home to Spain is his choice of University, for Ibu a trip to the USA and Missouri State West Plains (JUCO) is in store, for Maria the possibility of studying Military and European History at Brunel University is her target and Chiara has booked herself a place and a basketball scholarship to Solent University to study photography.

For Ana Afonso (the most improved athlete across the academy) the journey has another step before University or work awaits!

And for Lakiesha Maxey the University of Bath is the target after an incredibly productive 2 years at JMA balancing very high academic targets with her sport.

Ali Sbai is off to University to study Sports at foundation stage either at Loughborough College or another local option depending on his choice over the next few months.

Bikram Rana has secured a place at Solent University but will also be looking at Brunel as another possibility too.

Levi Pither is off to the University of the West of England (joining ex pupil Stephen Foard)

Echezoni Okechi is working towards a future Uni place in Canterbury and finally

Josh Steen (Steeeeno!) has secured a place at reading College to begin the next chapter of his education towards becoming a Physical training instructor.

We are incredibly proud of this group of student-athletes and wish them all the very best on the next step of their exciting journey!


For photos of the evening please visit our flickr account:

Madejski Academy player Ali Sbai has been named in the initial Great Britain Men’s Under 20 squad

Reading Rockets are delighted to announce that John Madejski Academy player Ali Sbai has been named in the initial Great Britain Men’s Under 20 squad. The 19 year old has spent the last three seasons with the Rockets which culminated in him playing a leading role in the JMA EABL Under 19s team last term as well as playing an important part in theclub’s NBL Division One Men’s team.

JMA Academy Director Matt Johnson was full of praise for the 6’5 forward. He said,

“We are incredibly proud of Ali and his achievement. He has worked hard on himself on and off the court and deservedly gets this chance after a strong season as one of the younger players in Division 1.
Ali has represented JMA and the Rockets well over the past 3 years and we certainly wish him the best in this next part of his journey.”

Sbai will join up with his team mates after finishing his post season work in Reading on Saturday 24th June as the team prepare for the European Championships in Romania which start three weeks later on 14th July.


2017-2018 – Off-Season Training Dates

Date / Time                                                                     Squad


Monday 5th June – 5.30-7.30pm                                 Under 14 Boys
Monday 5th June – 7.30-9.30pm                                 Under 18 Boys

Tuesday 6th June – 5.30-7.30pm                                 Under 12 Boys
Tuesday 6th June – 8-10pm                                          Back to Basketball

Thursday 8th June – 7-9pm                                           Division 4 Men (with some Division 1)

Friday 9th June – 5.30-7.30pm                                     Under 12/14 Girls
Friday 9th June – 7.30-9.30pm                                     Division 1 Women

Saturday 10th June – 11.30am-1.30pm                     Under 16 Boys
Saturday 10th June – 1.30pm-3.30pm                       Under 16/18 Girls


Monday 12th June – 5.30-7.30pm                                Under 14 Boys
Monday 12th June – 7.30-9.30pm                                Under 18 Boys

Tuesday 13th June – 5.30-7.30pm                                Under 12 Boys
Tuesday 13th June – 8-10pm                                         Back to Basketball

Wednesday 14th June – 6pm                                         JMA Academy Senior Night

Thursday 15th June – 7-9pm                                         Division 4 Men

Friday 16th June – 5.30-7.30pm                                   Under 12/14 Girls
Friday 16th June – 7.30-9.30pm                                   Division 1 Women

Saturday 17th June – 11.30am-1.30pm                     Under 16 Boys
Saturday 17th June – 1.30pm-3.30pm                       Under 16/18 Girls


Monday 19th June – 5.30-7.30pm                              Under 14 Boys
Monday 19th June – 7.30-9.30pm                              Under 18 Boys

Tuesday 20th June – 5.30-7.30pm                             Under 12 Boys
Tuesday 20th June – 8-10pm                                       Back to Basketball

Wednesday 21st June – 7-9pm                                   Division One Men

Thursday 22nd June – 7-9pm                                      Division 4 Men

Friday 23rd June – 5.30-7.30pm                                 Under 12/14 Girls
Friday 23rd June – 7.30-9.30pm                                 Division 1 Women

Saturday 24th June – 11.30am-1.30pm                   Under 16 Boys
Saturday 24th June – 1.30pm-3.30pm                     Under 16/18 Girls


Monday 26th June – 5.30-7.30pm                            Under 14 Boys
Monday 26th June – 7.30-9.30pm                            Under 18 Boys

Tuesday 27th June – 5.30-7.30pm                           Under 12 Boys
Tuesday 27th June – 8-10pm                                     Back to Basketball

Thursday 29th June – 7-9pm                                     Division 4 Men

Friday 30th June – 5.30-7.30pm                              Under 12/14 Girls
Friday 30th June – 7.30-9.30pm                              Division 1 Women

Saturday 1st July – 11.30am-1.30pm                     Under 16 Boys
Saturday 1st July – 1.30pm-3.30pm                       Under 16/18 Girls